LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Britain will reinstate VAT exemption for foreign visitors to boost the retail sector, Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Friday.
“Britain welcomes millions of tourists every year, and I want our streets and airports, ports and shopping centers to feel the economic benefits. That is why we have decided to introduce VAT-free shopping for foreign visitors”, he told parliament during the presentation of a mini-budget.
An earlier exemption was removed at the end of 2020. Kwasi Kwarteng also said the government would dematerialize the system by relying on digital to replace paper. “And that will get underway as soon as possible,” he said.
Linda Ellett, head of UK consumer, retail and leisure markets at KPMG, said the move would boost the UK’s competitiveness and attractiveness to international visitors.
“This is even more important as we look for ways to generate economic growth, return international tourism to pre-pandemic volumes, and resist rising inflation,” he said. .
(James Davey Report, French version Augustin Turpin, edited by Tangi Salaün)
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